Are Users Finally Wising Up to What They Share on Facebook?

Photo Credit: Andrew Harnik/AP/Shutterstock
October 1, 2018

By Carlo Versano

As Facebook tries to recover from what might be its worst security breach yet ー one in which the personal details of at least 50 million accounts were exposed ー users are wising up about what they share on the vast social network.

"People are getting a little bit smarter," Mashable deputy tech editor Michael Nuñez said.

Nuñez pointed out Monday in an interview on Cheddar that the breach, announced by Facebook on Friday, was "not their first, but it is their worst."

Facebook ($FB) is now at risk for a potential $1.6 billion fine from European regulators who have more latitude to penalize the company since the landmark GDPR law went into effect, according to the Wall Street Journal.

But even that would be just a "slap on the wrist" for a company with a market cap of $474 billion, Nuñez said.

The more pressing question is whether these security hacks will cause users to rethink their relationship with Facebook altogether.

Indeed, that may already be happening. Facebook has gotten so large that its growth has started to decelerate. Perhaps more importantly, "a lot of young people are skipping Facebook entirely" and choosing to share content elsewhere, Nuñez said.

Luckily for CEO Mark Zuckerberg, many of the platforms users are choosing instead ー WhatsApp and Instagram, for example ー are owned by Facebook.

At this stage, Facebook's core product has more similarities to email, Nuñez said. With both tools, there's a learning curve, and users would be wise to apply the lesson of email writing to Facebook use: "You shouldn't share anything you don't want to be public."

For full interview click here.